Interview: 'Megan Leavey' Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite On Telling Megan & Rex's Story With Respect

The bond between human and animal comes in many forms, and director Gabriela Cowperthwaite is showing that he's adept at capturing them all. She first rose to prominence with her documentary Blackfish, one of the most accomplished films ever in terms of affecting real, tangible change. It showed us that the killer whales in entertainment parks like Sea World were severely unhappy, leading to a number of deaths. Her new film Megan Leavey, her first narrative feature, has just as much of a chance of changing the way we look at animals placed in stressful situations of which they aren't accustomed.

Kate Mara stars as the real-life Megan Leavey, a troubled Marine who forms a bond with Rex, a combat dog considered too aggressive for the field. The two become inseparable and an effective team, until an explosion injures them both. After her dismissal, Megan sets out to adopt Rex, who is suffering from similar PTSD symptoms as she is, for herself. However, the military has other thoughts and stand in her way at every turn.

I had a chance to talk with Cowperthwaite about Megan Leavey, the transition from documentary to feature films, and the responsibility she felt in telling Megan and Rex's story.  You can check out the interview below and my review of the film here.